Prosecutors charged 25-year-old Jared Jay Hale with three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He also faces sentencing enhancements and allegations for driving with a blood-alcohol level over .15 percent and causing great bodily injury.
Investigators said Hale got behind the wheel when he and his three passengers left Hennessey's Tavern in Dana Point on Feb. 13. While trying to turn a corner, he lost control and hit a tree. The deceased Marines were 21-year-old Christopher Arzola of Massachusetts, 23-year-old Jeremiah Callahan of Nebraska and 22-year-old Jason Chleborad of South Dakota. All were stationed at Camp Pendleton.
According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Hale's blood-alcohol level an hour after the crash was at .16 percent.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison. Hale remains in a medical rehabilitation facility for his injuries, which include brain trauma and a fractured arm. His arraignment date has not been set.